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Why are you running the wrong way?

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  • Why are you running the wrong way?

    We have any regular runners here? Do you run against traffic or run with the flow? It's been decades(?) since I ran on a regular bases, ran cross country in high school, but I don't ever remember our coach having us run against traffic. I've seen cyclists do this as well. Why is this a good idea for runner or driver?
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  • #2
    Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

    On the road, its because runners are able to get off the road and don't occupy the road the way bikers can. It lets you see oncoming traffic and get off the road as a way to protect yourself. I don't trust cars to not hit me, so I get out of the way proactively and I prefer to see and hear oncoming traffic rather than just hear it. I'd rather run on the sidewalk, but if I can't, I'm going to run against traffic if I'm on the road for a while.

    Bicyclists should not do this, as bicyclists are essentially motor vehicles and should be riding in the center of the lane going with the direction of traffic. They can mostly keep up with traffic without disrupting it too badly, so they get to ride on the road (and in many places, its actually not legal for them to ride on the sidewalk)
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    • #3
      Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

      Maybe I'm just paranoid, but in this day and age of rampant texting and driving, my jogging (running is what people that are serious do) takes place on treadmills when the weather is inclement, and in parks or jogging trails when it's nice.

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      • #4
        Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

        If you have to, run against traffic. NEVER bicycle against traffic.

        And avoid running on the road at all. I understand it is necessary in the countryside and areas that have no sidewalks (and I run on country roads when in the countryside), but I have personally witnessed truck-driving yahoos try to run joggers off the road.

        When you run on the road wear a reflective vest. Do not rely on the tiny bits of reflective stuff built into your running clothes. Use a headlamp at night. Look like a geek and live a little longer.

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        • #5
          Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

          Find a park or trail for running if you want to run outdoors.

          Even in one of the fattest/most unhealthy places in the world (Oklahoma City) we have a large number of running trails within 5-10 minutes of almost all homes.

          If you are rural then this is a no brainer. Find a dirt road and have at it because I don't know a single person that drives anything other that right down the middle of a dirt road.

          I use a treadmill because it gives me an excuse to watch all the trash TV (Survivor, Master Chef etc.) I want as long as I am on the thing.
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          • #6
            Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

            I follow state laws. I run on the opposite side, and bike with traffic. That doesn't mean that I've never had a bad experience with traffic, though...

            I can't run on a treadmill... I "can" but it feels so awful and unnatural.

            I do want a nice bike machine some day, though.
            Skud


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            • #7
              Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

              Originally posted by Razcsak View Post
              Bicyclists should not do this, as bicyclists are essentially motor vehicles and should be riding in the center of the lane going with the direction of traffic. They can mostly keep up with traffic without disrupting it too badly, so they get to ride on the road (and in many places, its actually not legal for them to ride on the sidewalk)
              Riding with cars, as in in the middle of the lane with them? Not a good thing to do, at least not here in Chicago. We are starting to have dedicated bike lanes (between parked cars and lane traffic, flowing with traffic). Riding with cars and sharing their lane with cars behind you = dangerous as hell. The number of cell phone/texter drivers here who pay almost no attention to the road ahead...well you get the idea. As for riding against traffic, I've heard that from quite a few cyclists over the years. To me it makes sense to see a car coming at you rather than having to look over my shoulder or use hand signals, but I don't see how it improves your chances of avoiding being run over by a car (probably worsens it). I typically ride with the flow of traffic.

              Often times both over-the-shoulder and hand signals have not be sufficient to let me cross into a lane of traffic. I've had quite a few near fatal accidents because asshat drivers refused to slow down (instead sped up) when I would, look over, hand signal, and try and merge into the lane (so I could get to a turn lane or whatnot). Add onto this some drivers who are on their cell phones either chatting their heads off or texting and BAM! All it takes is one of these cell phone drivers to slam into me and my life is practically over.
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              • #8
                Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

                The best advice I can give you is to avoid traffic completely. Running, contrary to popular belief, is a high impact sport. You are striking the ground at least once per second, which impacts almost everything from your toes to your neck (your lower arms and hands dont get much from running, but you better believe your shoulders do). Running in the right footwear is as important as the surface you're running on. As EGG suggested, parks are your best bet. The general order of preference for running surfaces is Grass>Dirt>Synthetic (rubberized) Track>Asphalt>Concrete. Running on concrete is absolute murder on your shins, and asphalt isnt too much better (and if you've never had shin splints, consider yourself blessed). Treadmills can go either way depending on the quality and age of the treadmill. Honestly, if you have a park, run there. If not, run in the grassy yard-space that exists between sidewalks and roads. Your body will thank you, especially your shins.

                If you absolutely have to run on the road, make every effort to plan your routes as safely as possible. Avoid busy roads or look for roads with bike lanes. Run against the flow of traffic, as suggested, so you can see cars coming and have time to react if necessary. Just keep in mind that roads were designed for cars, not for runners, and as such you should be accommodating to the multi-ton metal death machines and not the other way around.

                The key here is safety. Make every effort you can to be safe. One of the guys I ran cross country with in high school had his career ended running through a quiet residential neighborhood by a driver who wasnt paying attention and swerved into him. Wound up with a total of 3 feet of steel screwed into his legs and spine as a result.

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                • #9
                  Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

                  Why do runners run on the road when there are sidewalks available? I understand in a more urban setting where there are lots of doors opening onto the sidewalk, but... in the suburbs I see people jogging inside the white line all the time - when there's a wide open sidewalk right there!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

                    The road is usually an even surface. Easier to trip on a sidewalk.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

                      Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
                      Why do runners run on the road when there are sidewalks available? I understand in a more urban setting where there are lots of doors opening onto the sidewalk, but... in the suburbs I see people jogging inside the white line all the time - when there's a wide open sidewalk right there!
                      Not only what HiTest said, but the roads are a better material for your feet, shins, and knees.

                      Riding with cars, as in in the middle of the lane with them? Not a good thing to do, at least not here in Chicago. We are starting to have dedicated bike lanes (between parked cars and lane traffic, flowing with traffic). Riding with cars and sharing their lane with cars behind you = dangerous as hell. The number of cell phone/texter drivers here who pay almost no attention to the road ahead...well you get the idea. As for riding against traffic, I've heard that from quite a few cyclists over the years. To me it makes sense to see a car coming at you rather than having to look over my shoulder or use hand signals, but I don't see how it improves your chances of avoiding being run over by a car (probably worsens it). I typically ride with the flow of traffic.
                      By all means, if there is a bike lane, use it. If not, yes, you are safest in the middle of the lane with cars going with the flow of traffic, as riding to the side is far more likely to get you clipped by a someone not paying attention. If the car has clearly seen you and wants to pass you, then move over, let them pass, and then move back. This should not be an issue in inner-city riding, however. And never ride against the flow of traffic.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

                        Originally posted by Razcsak View Post
                        By all means, if there is a bike lane, use it. If not, yes, you are safest in the middle of the lane with cars going with the flow of traffic, as riding to the side is far more likely to get you clipped by a someone not paying attention. If the car has clearly seen you and wants to pass you, then move over, let them pass, and then move back. This should not be an issue in inner-city riding, however. And never ride against the flow of traffic.
                        That's the operative word there "seen". That's the one problem I do/used to face riding in the lane with cars. Besides there impatient drivers, the ones who barely pay attention (heavy cell phone users are are driving their cells more than their cars) have been the ones that have caused most, if not all, my near fatal accidents.

                        But that's off topic.

                        I can't really comment on joggers/runners in the burbs, but most of the city runners/joggers here in Chicago tend to stick to the sidewalk. WhiskeySix points out the "wide open sidewalk"...well except for the downtown area, most sidewalks in Chicago are just that: wide, open, empty. Most of the joggers and runners I see make full use of this. Also to much annoyance some cyclists also ride on the sidewalk. I almost never see a jogger/runner on the road unless it's near the lakefront on the dedicated bike lanes.

                        As for tripping on the sidewalk, I don't buy it. Unless you happen to be running on some really crappy sidewalks, I don't see tripping as a issue. I'm not saying there aren't badly maintained sidewalks, I've seen plenty around town and in some of the surrounding suburbs, but for the most part, lots of evenly paved sidewalks with traction rubber grip areas near the crosswalks. If anything, I'd say it's not only safer on the sidewalk, but friendlier and easier as you don't have to deal with other hazards like car doors opening and cars swerving in-and-out in front of you.
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why are you running the wrong way?

                          When riding my bike down my road, I stay as far away as I can from the road and ride towards traffic. If I can see them coming, it at least gives me time and awareness to get out of the way if they're not paying attention. I know you're not supposed to do that, but I'd rather know what is coming at me than ride blindly.




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